Hilliard Davidson High School senior Gio DiSabato entered the Division I state wrestling tournament held March 8-10 at Ohio State seeking his first state championship.
Those title hopes were dashed early, however, as the four-time state qualifier sprained the sternoclavicular joint in his left collarbone during a first-round match against Cincinnati La Salle's Casey Wiles.
DiSabato was pinned by Wiles in 4 minutes, 21 seconds and was advised by the tournament medical staff to withdraw from the tournament. He persevered, however, and battled back to place sixth at 126 pounds.
"I know my limits and I came back and did what I had to do," said DiSabato, who was state runner-up last season at 120 after placing fourth at 106 as a sophomore and sixth at 106 as a freshman. "I was technically not supposed to wrestle, but I did anyway. I did whatever I had to do for me and, at the end of the day, I was content with what I did for myself. ... It's my senior year. I can't not wrestle, so I had to push through and be tough."
DiSabato, who estimates that his collarbone popped out of place approximately six times during the tournament, won his next three matches before losing to Wiles again, falling 6-4 in a consolation semifinal. He then opted to default his fifth-place match to Shaker Heights' Jaivon Jones to settle for sixth place.
DiSabato, who will wrestle for Ohio University, pinned Oregon Clay's Mike Daly (2:08) and defeated Lancaster's Micah Norwood 6-3 in overtime and Fairfield's Jabari Thomas 10-6 to reach the fifth-place match.
By beating Norwood, DiSab-ato avenged a 2-1 overtime loss in a semifinal at the district tournament held March 2 and 3 at Darby.
"That was awesome," DiSabato said of the win over Norwood. "It was a little heated rivalry, but nothing really too much. It was just another match to me. Either way, I was proud of myself for even coming out there. I won three matches."
DiSabato finished the season 39-6 and leaves the program with the most career wins with a record of 189-20. His brother, Angelo, is second with 167.
Senior Micah Dusseau competed at state for the second time, finishing eighth at 120.
"He's a stud wrestler," coach Dominic DiSabato, Gio's father, said of Dusseau. "What him and Gio have done for each other has been special to watch. Micah was a little spark plug back in seventh grade, so we knew what we had coming. It was just developing it and getting to that point where he is now."
Dusseau opened state with a 9-4 win over Medina's Jared Dressler before losing to eventual champion Julian Tagg of Brecksville-Broadview Heights by technical fall (17-2) in a quarterfinal. Tagg also won the state title at 106 last season.
Dusseau responded by defeating Dresden Tri-Valley's Joseph Eckelberry 6-2 before losing to Lakewood St. Edward's Angelo Rini 11-3 and being pinned by Wads-worth's Landon Hacker in 4:18 in the seventh-place match.
Dusseau finished the season 46-6 and was 103-30 for his career.
"The ultimate goal is just to place," said Dusseau, who went 0-2 at state last year at 113. "I did what I wanted to do. ... I went from wrestling j.v. to being a state placer."
DiSabato and Dusseau combined for 12 points as Davidson tied for 36th behind champion St. Edward (170.5) as 70 teams scored.
At district, Dusseau won a title and DiSabato finished third to earn state berths.
Senior Demetri Monroe, who went 0-2 at state last season at 132, placed fifth at district at 145 to finish the season 36-10. He had a career record of 129-47.
Junior Luke DeWeese went 2-3 and placed sixth at district at 152 and finished the season 31-12.
Seniors Brendon Yoder (182, 21-22) and Jah'von Lynch (heavyweight, 20-21) and sophomore Jackson Sowers (132, 25-11) all went 1-2 at district, while seniors Connor Lucy (138, 12-11), Reid Conrad (160, 23-17) and Mo Jahshan (170, 23-18), junior Zak Hughey (195, 18-19) and sophomore Teraun Dunseth (106, 18-15) all went 0-2.
Davidson scored 72.5 points at district to finish eighth behind champion Lancaster (170) as 38 teams scored and finished second (209.5) in a 10-team sectional Feb. 24 at Marysville behind the host Monarchs (279) as DiSabato, Dusseau and Monroe won titles.
The Wildcats went 3-2 in the OCC-Central Division to finish third, behind Dublin Coffman (5-0) and Marysville (4-1) and ahead of Upper Arlington (2-3), Central Crossing (1-4) and Westland (0-5).
Girls basketball team posts winning season
The girls basketball team posted its first winning season since 2012-13, finishing 13-12 overall and 6-4 in the OCC-Central.
Seeded 25th in the 50-team Division I district tournament, the Wildcats defeated 21st-seeded Dublin Scioto 54-52 in the first round Feb. 17 and 33rd-seeded Watkins Memorial 54-39 in the second round Feb. 23 before losing to third-seeded Pickerington Central 63-39 in a semifinal Feb. 28 at Hamilton Township.
Junior guard Emily Simon had 14 points against Central and senior forward Allie Klein scored 10.
"I'm super proud and they've accomplished a lot this year," coach Joy Taylor said. "We're young and they've seen what our potential is. ... This is one of the most fun seasons I've ever had coaching. Our kids are great. They're good students, they're good people and they work really hard and their parents are awesome. We have a great thing going."
Davidson went 6-4 in the OCC-Central to finish third, behind Coffman (10-0) and UA (8-2) and ahead of Marysville (4-6), Central Crossing (2-8) and Westland (0-10).
Simon led the team in scoring (12.9 points per game) and rebounding (7.0) and was named first-team all-OCC-Central and third-team all-district, and Klein averaged 9.6 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.
Freshman guard Brianna O'Connor averaged 7.9 points and was second-team all-league, and sophomore guard Sydney Petersen was honorable mention all-league.
Others eligible to return are juniors Jadah Dixon (guard), Ashley Kaufman (forward) and Sydney Ryan (guard), sophomores Ellie Brorein (forward), Sally Sell (guard) and Alivia Wile (guard) and freshmen Ashley Barrington (forward), Emma Potter (forward) and Grace Royer (forward).
Endecott leads boys swimmers
The swimming and diving program is losing its only state qualifier this season in senior Tyler Endecott.
Endecott, who moved to central Ohio from New Jersey prior to his sophomore year, finished 18th in the 200-yard individual medley in 1 minute, 55.83 seconds in the Division I state meet Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Endecott led the boys team in the district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio University, placing fourth in the 200 IM (program-record 1:55.26).
Also at district, Endecott, and juniors Dalton Brown, C.W. Hess and Phillip Tate placed eighth in the 200 medley relay (1:39.01) and Endecott, Brown, Hess and sophomore Brady Vann were eighth in the 400 freestyle relay (3:17.34).
Davidson scored 80.5 points at district to finish 12th behind champion Dublin Jerome (303) as 29 teams scored.
At sectional Feb. 10 at Kenyon College, the Wildcats finished fifth (111) of 11 teams, behind champion Jerome (270).
Davidson finished third (223) in the OCC-Central meet Jan. 27, behind host UA (391) and Coffman (345) and ahead of Marysville (89) and Central Crossing (83).
Also this season, Endecott set the program record in the 100 breaststroke (59.54) and teamed with Brown, Hess and Vann to set the program record in the 400 free relay (3:21.34), and Vann set the program mark in the 500 free (4:49.38).
Sophomore Brogan Gehring led the girls team at district, placing seventh in the 100 breast (1:09.49) and ninth in the 200 IM (2:12.52). She also joined senior Riley Ernst, junior Alex Worthington and sophomore Paige Erdman on the 15th-place 400 free relay (3:48.83).
The Wildcats tied Scioto and Worthington Kilbourne for 17th (40) at district behind champion UA (274) as 30 teams scored.
At sectional, Davidson tied Darby for seventh (94) of 10 teams, behind champion Coffman (274).
The Wildcats finished third (166) in the league meet, behind UA (478) and Coffman (324) and ahead of Marysville (126), Central Crossing (71) and Westland (57).
Also this season, Ernst set the program record in the 200 free (1:57.71) and Gehring set the program mark in the 100 breast (1:07.49).
*Record: 13-12 overall, 6-4 (third) in OCC-Central
*Seniors lost: Holly Crook and Allie Klein
*Key returnees: Brianna O'Connor, Sydney Petersen and Emily Simon
SWIMMING & DIVING
*Finishes: Boys -- Third in OCC-Central, fifth at sectional, 12th at district, did not score at state; Girls -- Third in OCC-Central, seventh at sectional, tied for 17th at district
*Seniors lost: Boys -- Tyler Endecott and Alex Hand; Girls -- Riley Ernst, Payton Gehring and Bailey Rosier
*Key returnees: Boys -- Dalton Brown, C.W. Hess and Phillip Tate; Girls -- Paige Erdman, Brogan Gehring and Alex Worthington
*Finishes: Third in OCC-Central, second at sectional, eighth at district, tied for 36th at state
*Seniors lost: Reid Conrad, Micah Dusseau, Gio DiSabato, Mo Jahshan, Chace Jones, Connor Lucy, Jah'von Lynch, Demetri Monroe, Johnny Ventura and Brendon Yoder
*Key returnees: Luke DeWeese, Teraun Dunseth, Zak Hughey and Jackson Sowers